Traveling is an essential part of every person’s life. People gather experiences, meet new people, explore the world’s beauty, and create new memories together with their friends and loved ones. The pandemic has forced governments to enforce strict travel restrictions between places globally, which hinders people from traveling. Nonetheless, this article is a must-read for all avid travelers out there.
If so, then you may own a traveling bag to accompany you on all your adventures. Choosing the right backpack is a huge investment, especially if you travel rigorously and frequently. Rain or shine, your traveling bag must be able to cope up with varying weather conditions. Not only that, you must choose the appropriate bag design that fits your body for convenience and comfort. There are several other factors to consider when choosing a traveling bag. In this article, we will help you select the traveling bag that best suits your needs – it doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a regular traveler!
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Qualities of a Good Traveling Bag
It could seem simple, but choosing the perfect traveling bag goes beyond its design and style. Here are some of the things that make a good traveling bag:
- Water-resistant. Water-resistant is not the same as waterproof – waterproof materials provide a complete barrier to water while water-resistant are so tightly woven that water struggles to get through. It would be best if you chose a bag that has a semi-water-resistant material. You do not want the bag to be wet and musty just from a drizzle. Bags that are made of treated nylon is highly suggested. They are usually thick and lightweight, which provides enough water protection without sacrificing weight. To test if it is water-resistant enough, try pouring a cup of water over it and see if the insides do not get wet.
- Zipper locks. Make sure that each main compartment in your bag has two lockable zippers. Besides protecting your things from being stolen, locking your zippers is good, especially if you are constantly moving. Movement and physical touches with other people and objects may cause your bag to open inadvertently. You do not want your things to fall out of your bag without you noticing it.
- Multiple compartments. Having multiple compartments save you time when digging around your bag. This allows you to sort your belongings according to size conveniently. For example, you may put your clothes, documents, gadgets, and other important stuff inside the main compartment. Things that you readily need access to, like umbrellas and masks, may be put inside smaller cases in the front. Finally, you may set your dirty things (like shoes, slippers) inside containers to avoid getting everything dirty.
- Internal bag frame. While most bags today have internal frames (the support rods and frame are built-in and are hidden from view), some backpacks have external frames. You should easily choose internal frame backpacks over external frame ones. They are slimmer in size and slicker in design. Their rods are not visible from view, allowing easier movement for the traveler. Also, internal frame backpacks are usually composed of carbon fiber or rigid plastic, which gives comfort to your back aside from being durable.
- Hip belt with pads. When moving with your backpack, most of the weight you carry will fall on your hips. This could cause too much strain on your back. A padded hip belt supports the weight and distributes the load more evenly on your back, causing less strain. We also suggest an adjustable hip belt for extra support. Lastly, it would be convenient if your bag has zippered pockets in the hip belt for easy access to belongings like coins, bus tickets, and other small things you need to access quickly.
- Shoulder straps with pads. Just like the padded hip belt, having a bag with padded shoulder straps makes carrying your load more comfortable. Not only does it puts less pressure on your shoulders, it also allows more comfort on your lower back. To test if the bag fits your body frame, try to load things inside the bag and see how it feels on your shoulders when fully weighted.
- Frontloading. A front-loading backpack allows you to access your things from the side of the backpack. This provides a considerable advantage over a top-loading bag, which only allows you to access the insides from a hole on the top. This makes it hard for you to get stuff at the very bottom of your bag. In cases of emergency, ready access to your belongings is essential. Still, you can have a bag with both front-loading and top-loading features for maximum convenience.
Here are some of the popular and highly suggested backpacks out there for you:
- Osprey Atmos AG 65 Pack. It is a heavy-duty backpack with 3D suspension designed for upper body mobility and even weight distribution. It has an adjustable hip belt, lots of big and small compartments, and a hydration sleeve. It also has upper and lower side compression straps.
- REI Flash 45 Pack. It has an excellent design with very convenient back paneling. Its water bottle pocket is located near the hip belt for easy access when walking and moving. It is hydration compatible, has a large bag in the front, a removable top lid, and a 3D contoured hip belt.
- REI Traverse 70 Pack. The REI Traverse’s main feature is that it keeps the weight of your belongings well balanced for reduced back and shoulder strain. It also has a ventilated mesh back panel, and its top lid turns into a small day pack or sling. Additional features include a hip belt pocket, rain cover, water bottle pockets, large zippered front compartments, and hydration compatibility.
Having a high-quality traveling bag is a good investment, whether you travel for leisure or work. It does not hurt to spend time making sure you have the best traveling bag that suits your needs. We hope that this guide helped you choose the traveling bag for you. Enjoy traveling! Just make sure to follow basic protocols like social distancing and mask-wearing to be safe from the virus.